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Count of Monte Cristo

Literature 1 10:30 11:30 MWF

Submitted by:
Dindy Grace T. Gomez

Submitted To:
Madeliene Juanillo

The Count of Monte Cristo


I. Main Characters
Edmond Dants - The protagonist of the novel. Dants is an intelligent, honest, and loving man who turns bitter and vengeful after he is framed for a crime he does not commit. When Dants finds himself free and enormously wealthy, he takes it upon himself to act as the agent of Providence, rewarding those who have helped him in his plight and punishing those responsible for his years of agony. The Count of Monte Cristo - The identity Dants assumes when he emerges from prison and inherits his vast fortune. As a result, the Count of Monte Cristo is usually associated with a coldness and bitterness that comes from an existence based solely on vengeance. Mercds - Dantss beautiful and good fiance. Though Mercds marries another man, Fernand Mondego, while Dants is in prison, she never stops loving Dants. Mercds is one of the few whom Dants both punishes (for her disloyalty) and rewards (for her enduring love and underlying goodness). Abb Faria - A priest and brilliant thinker whom Dants meets in prison. Abb Faria becomes Dantss intellectual father: during their many years as prisoners, he teaches Dants history, science, art, and many languages. He then bequeaths to Dants his vast hidden fortune. Abb Faria is the most important catalyst in Dantss transformation into the vengeful Count of Monte Cristo. Fernand Mondego - Dantss rival for Mercdss affections. Mondego helps in framing Dants for treason and then marries Mercds himself when Dants is imprisoned. Through acts of treachery Mondego becomes a wealthy and powerful man and takes on the name of the Count de Morcerf. He is the first victim of Dantss vengeance. Baron Danglars - A greedy, envious cohort of Mondego. Danglars hatches the plot to frame Dants for treason. Like Mondego, he becomes wealthy and powerful, but loses everything when Monte Cristo takes his revenge. Danglarss obsession with the accumulation of wealth makes him an easy target for Monte Cristo, who has seemingly limitless wealth on hand to exact his revenge. Grard de Villefort - The blindly ambitious public prosecutor responsible for sentencing Dants to life in prison. Like the others, Villefort eventually receives punishment from Dants. Villefort stands out as Monte Cristos biggest opposition, as he employs his own power to judge people and mete out punishments.

II.

Setting

The novel takes place during the years following the fall of Napoleons empire. The story begins in 1815 and ends in 1844.
SETTING (TIME)

Though most of the action takes place in Paris, key scenes are also set in Marseilles, Rome, Monte Cristo, Greece, and Constantinople.
SETTING (PLACE)

III.

Plot

A T THE AGE OF NINETEEN, Edmond Dants seems to have the perfect life. He is about to become the captain of a ship, he is engaged to a beautiful and kind young woman, Mercds, and he is well liked by almost everyone who knows him. This perfect life, however, stirs up dangerous jealousy among some of Dantss so-called friends. Danglars, the treasurer of Dantss ship, envies Dantss early career success; Fernand Mondego is in love with Dantss fiance and so covets his amorous success; his neighbor Caderousse is simply envious that Dants is so much luckier in life than he is. Together, these three men draft a letter accusing Dants of treason. There is some truth to their accusations: as a favor to his recently deceased captain, Dants is carrying a letter from Napoleon to a group of Bonapartist sympathizers in Paris. Though Dants himself has no political leanings, the undertaking is enough to implicate him for treason. On the day of his wedding, Dants is arrested for his alleged crimes. The deputy public prosecutor, Villefort, sees through the plot to frame Dants and is prepared to set him free. At the last moment, though, Dants jeopardizes his freedom by revealing the name of the man to whom he is supposed to deliver Napoleons letter. The man, Noirtier, is Villeforts father. Terrified that any public knowledge of his fathers treasonous activities will thwart his own ambitions, Villefort decides to send Dants to prison for life. Despite the entreaties of Monsieur Morrel, Dantss kind and honest boss, Dants is sent to the infamous Chteau dIf, where the most dangerous political prisoners are kept. While in prison, Dants meets Abb Faria, an Italian priest and intellectual, who has been jailed for his political views. Faria teaches Dants history, science, philosophy, and languages, turning him into a well-educated man. Faria also bequeaths to Dants a large treasure hidden on the island of Monte Cristo, and he tells him how to find it should he ever escape. When Faria dies, Dants hides himself in the abbs shroud, thinking that he will be buried and then dig his way out. Instead, Dants is thrown into the sea, and is able to cut himself loose and swim to freedom. Dants travels to Monte Cristo and finds Farias enormous treasure. He considers his fortune a gift from God, given to him for the sole purpose of rewarding those who have tried to help him and, more important, punishing those who have hurt him. Disguising himself as an Italian priest who answers to the name of Abb Busoni, he travels back to Marseilles and visits Caderousse, who is now struggling to make a living as an innkeeper. From Caderousse he learns the details of the plot to frame him. In addition, Dants learns that his father has died of grief in his absence and that Mercds has married Fernand Mondego. Most frustrating, he learns that both Danglars and Mondego have become rich and powerful and are living happily in Paris. As a reward for this information, and for Caderousses apparent regret over the part he played in Dantss downfall, Dants gives Caderousse a valuable diamond. Before leaving Marseilles, Dants anonymously saves Morrel from financial ruin. Ten years later, Dants emerges in Rome, calling himself the Count of Monte Cristo. He seems to be all knowing and unstoppable. In Rome Dants ingratiates himself to Albert de Morcerf, son of Fernand Mondego and Mercds, by saving him from bandits. In return for the favor, Albert introduces Dants to Parisian society. None of his old cohorts recognize the mysterious count as Edmond Dants, though Mercds does. Dants is thus able to insinuate himself effortlessly into the lives of Danglars, Mondego, and Villefort. Armed

with damning knowledge about each of them that he has gathered over the past decade, Dants sets an elaborate scheme of revenge into motion. Mondego, now known as the Count de Morcerf, is the first to be punished. Dants exposes Morcerfs darkest secret: Morcerf made his fortune by betraying his former patron, the Greek vizier Ali Pacha, and he then sold Ali Pachas wife and daughter into slavery. Ali Pachas daughter, Hayde, who has lived with Dants ever since he bought her freedom seven years earlier, testifies against Morcerf in front of the senate, irreversibly ruining his good name. Ashamed by Morcerfs treachery, Albert and Mercds flee, leaving their tainted fortune behind. Morcerf commits suicide. Villeforts punishment comes slowly and in several stages. Dants first takes advantage of Madame de Villeforts murderous intent, subtly tutoring her in the uses of poison. As Madame de Villefort wreaks her havoc, killing off each member of the household in turn, Dants plants the seeds for yet another public expos. In court, it is revealed that Villefort is guilty of attempted infanticide, as he tried to bury his illegitimate baby while it was still alive. Believing that everyone he loves is dead and knowing that he will soon have to answer severe criminal charges, Villefort goes insane. For his revenge on Danglars, Dants simply plays upon his enemys greed. He opens various false credit accounts with Danglars that cost him vast amounts of money. He also manipulates Danglarss unfaithful and dishonest wife, costing Danglars more money, and helps Danglarss daughter, Eugnie, run away with her female companion. Finally, when Danglars is nearly broke and about to flee without paying any of his creditors, Dants has the Italian bandit Luigi Vampa kidnap him and relieve him of his remaining money. Dants spares Danglarss life, but leaves him penniless. Meanwhile, as these acts of vengeance play out, Dants also tries to complete one more act of goodness. Dants wishes to help the brave and honorable Maximilian Morrel, the son of the kind shipowner, so he hatches an elaborate plot to save Maximilians fiance, Valentine Villefort, from her murderous stepmother, to ensure that the couple will be truly happy forever. Dants gives Valentine a pill that makes her appear dead and then carries her off to the island of Monte Cristo. For a month Dants allows Maximilian to believe that Valentine is dead, which causes Maximilian to long for death himself. Dants then reveals that Valentine is alive. Having known the depths of despair, Maximilian is now able to experience the heights of ecstasy. Dants too ultimately finds happiness, when he allows himself to fall in love with the adoring and beautiful Hayde.

IV.

Summary

Edmond (Jim Caviezal) is sailing in French waters along with his best friend, Fernand (Guy Pearce) , when their captain falls ill. They stop for help at a nearby island, which happens to be where Napolean Bonaparte is in hiding. Bonaparte pulls aside Edmond and asks him to deliver an "innocent letter" to an old friend in Marseille, France. Edmond agrees, as that is the price for the use of Napolean's physician. The captain unfortunately dies, so the crew returns home to Marseille. Edmond is made captain for his bravery in seeking a physician, and the first mate comes to despise him for it. Fernand finds out about the letter, and reads it while Edmond is sleeping, and is angry that Edmond did not tell him about it. Edmond, not knowing that Fernand knows about the

letter, rushes to greet his fiance, Mercedes, and tell her that they can now be married as he was just promoted to captain. This is also the point in the movie when you realize that Fernand is in love wiht Mercedes, but she loves Edmond. Fernand, still angry, decides to work together with the furious first mate, and get Edmond arrested for treason, which he didn't commit. Fernand works also with a very important magistrate, Villefort, who's father is the man Edmond was to deliver the letter to. (Villefort does not know of this). Thus, Edmond is arrested, and thrown into a remote island prison by the name of Chateau D'if. There, he meets Priest, who teaches him many valuable lessons about life, how to sword fight, and give Edmond a proper education. All this is in turn for Edmond helping to dig, in order to escape the prison. For 13 years, Edmond is held captive in the Chateau D'if, and unknown to Edmond, a letter was sent to his family and Mercedes saying that he was executed on grounds of treason. Finally, Edmond escapes when the priest dies, and becomes part of a crew on a merchant vessel, along with his good riend Jaccapo. After 3 months, Edmond is released along with Jaccapo, and they go in search of finding out what has happened toEdmond's loved ones. They find out that Edmond's father commited suicide, and the Mercedes wed Fernand a month after learning of Edmond's execution. Edmond has by this time (with the help of the priest while in prison) figured out that he was framed by Fernand and the others. Thus, he and Jaccapo sail to a remote island that the Priest told Edmond about, and there they find a treasure, making Edmond extremely wealthy.Edmond decides to become a count in order to get revenge on those who betrayed him, so he becomes The COunt of Monte Cristo, being the treasure he found The Treasure of Monte Cristo. Soon after, he "saves" Fernand and Mercedes' son Alber from captivity, and thus enters the lives of those he is trying to hurt like they hurt him. Mercedes begins to suspect that The Count is really Edmond, and when she confronts him privately, he denies it but slips and she realizes that he really is Edmond. Then, they kiss, and realize that they are still in love, so Mercedes goes back ot her Chateau to inform Fernand that she is leaving him, when Fernand tells her that he has gone bankrupt (which is really Edmond's doing, but he doesn't know this) and is leaving the country. (By this time, Villefort has been convicted of murdering his father and sent to jail, also doings of Edmond's). Mercedes preceds to inform Fernand that Alber is not his son, but Edmond's. Fernand becomes angry and goes out to his old, abandoned villa to collect the gold he had supposedly stolen from The Count of Monte Cristo, only to find that it is not there (Edmond's doings, again). Then, Edmond shows up, and tells Fernand where he has been all these years, and they begin a duel, only to be stopped by Mercedes and Alber. Mercedes then tells Edmond that Alber is really his son, not Fernand's. Fernand then shoots Mercedes in the shoulder (she lives) and runs off. Edmond follows him and they begin sword fighting again. Fibally, Edmond kills Fernand, and goes back to Mercedes and Alber and Jaccapo. At the very end, Edmond buys the Chateau D'if thanks the Priest for his wisdom and help.

V.

Moral/Lesson

From my point of view, one of the morals in that story is 'what goes around comes around'. The people who betrayed the count ended up by paying with their lives as he cleverly took his revenge on each one. Plus, the fact that the count actually really did find treasure and good friends (in the form of pirates) meant that he was a good person who attracted good people. Regardless of the fact that the pirates could have treated him badly and even shot him when he found the treasure, they didn't, they became his friends and they benefitted from his success. The main moral is that the bad deeds we do in life do not go unpunished and the good ones get rewarded. The main moral (of several) is that revenge is not the answer. The Count had been greatly wronged, and he chose to spend all of his life and money to get vengeance. He eventually got it, and his nemisis was ruined. However, he ruined himself in the process, and had nothing to show for years of effort. It is better to forgive and get on with your life instead of spending your life trying to get revenge.

VI.

Reaction

God will give me justice, this line which was engraved in the wall on the prison was retained on my mind when I watched the movie The Count of Monte Cristo. This movie amazed me very much because of its excellent theme. I really like the story because it has a mixed of drama, suspense and romance. Furthermore, it was not a boring one to watch. The actors and actresses were superb in portraying their roles especially James Caviezel who portrayed the role of Edmond Dantes. Im also amazed with the settings of the story. The views are awe-inspiring. My adrenalin rush got higher because of many exciting scenes. First, was when Edmond Dantes was whipped in the prison by the authorities where he suffered in pain. Second, when another innocent prisoner taught him to write, read and to fence where he became wise and plotted revenge. Thirdly, when he fought with Fernand Mondego because it was very dramatic and it suspend me. I noticed also the rainbow while they are fighting. After I watched the movie, I remember the two novels of Rizal because it has some similarities. Examples were the following; when Ibarra was abducted and imprisoned, the unending love for Maria Clara, and in El Filibusterismo where Ibarra disguised as Simoun and plotted for revenge also. No doubt, why Rizal enjoyed reading the book of The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas. And why people tried to made it as a movie. The lavish scenery, dramatic acting and wonderful score all help make "The Count of Monte Cristo" a film worth watching. Truly, the movie was one of the best movies I watched in my eighteen years of existence and I really love it. I learned in this movie that trials are not the reasons to give up but inspirations to move on.